Speaker Date Topic
Michael Williamson May 19, 2021
President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA)
President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA)

Michael Williamson is responsible for leading philanthropic and impact efforts as President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA), building stronger, more equitable communities in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. For his work, Biz New Orleans recognized Williamson as one of 2020’s Executives of the Year.

Before taking over as CEO in 2013, he joined UWSELA as COO in 2009 from his position as Vice President of Field Leadership at United Way of America (UWA), where he provided overall management of UWA’s $28 million Hurricane Response and Recovery Fund developed in Hurricane Katrina’s wake.

Williamson is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has over 30 years of executive-level nonprofit management experience, 27 of those years served in the United Way system.

Suzanne Raether Jun 09, 2021
The Roots of Music
The Roots of Music

Suzanne Raether is a writer, fundraiser, and nonprofit executive in New Orleans, Louisiana. Since 2012, she has raised over $13 million in philanthropic investments in the arts, education, environmental issues, urban water management, workforce development, design justice, criminal justice reform, and LGBTQ liberation. She created Louisiana’s first community foundation fund dedicated to trans youth and queer youth of color. In her current role as Executive Director for The Roots of Music, she continues her work to ensure New Orleanians have the resources they need to thrive.

Julie Stokes Jun 16, 2021
Cancer Advocacy Group of Louisiana
Cancer Advocacy Group of Louisiana

Julie Stokes is CEO of Flame Consulting, CFO of Stokes & Associates, Founder of Ellevate
Louisiana and Co-Founder of the Cancer Advocacy Group of Louisiana. She is a CPA, a
nonpartisan policy advocate, a civic leader, speaker, and recovering state legislator.
Over her seven years of service in the Louisiana Legislature, Julie Stokes gained a reputation as
a passionate advocate for comprehensive, non-partisan fiscal policy. Leaving public life behind
in 2020, she has opened Flame Consulting to continue supporting projects that she is
passionate about.
Through Flame Consulting, Julie founded Ellevate Louisiana. Ellevate Louisiana’s purpose is to
empower women leaders throughout Louisiana by connecting and educating them on the
challenges impacting our State with data-driven, non-partisan solutions to make a better future
for Louisiana. Similarly, Julie also co-founded the Cancer Advocacy Group of Louisiana to
advocate for legislation promoting a high standard for patient care in the State of Louisiana.
CAG-LA was successful in crafting and advocating for legislation in 2020 and is currently
planning its agenda for 2021.
Julie also serves as CFO of Stokes & Associates, where she provides the financial leadership that
has grown the company from two employees in 1998 to well nearly forty employees today. She
resides in Kenner with her husband Larry and their two children, Brandon and Taylor.